Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Old Dilapidated WWII Churchill Tank





I stopped off at a place called Mucklebourgh in Norfolk, where there was a collection of many old military vehicles - a sort of private collection of anything from various nations over different periods of time. Of course, WWII paraphernalia was most common. I always enjoy wandering about such places and was thrilled to see a sad looking WWII Churchill Tank in a dilapidated looking state, yet awaiting attention in a yard full of derelict items. I presume that once such wrecks are restored, they go on display on the main site where visitors get to see them close up. 

The tanks were used in North Africa, Italy and North West Europe. They underwent many adaptations throughout the war. Their production was somewhat hurried when France fell and British allied forces retreated home to the Isles. Most of the military vehicles were lost on the roads too, and the sands of Dunkirk. The prospect of a German invasion was imminent and therefore tanks were needed desperately.

The Churchill tank came into existence out of desperation and because of its hurried development, the tank was plagued with a number of problems. Fortunately, Britain was not invaded, but other theatres of war saw the Churchill as underpowered, and unreliable when up against the more pristine German tanks. It had weak armament at first too. So many problems had to be overcome and at one point production was almost scrapped. However, a reprieve was won and gradually the tank began to be fitted with more modifications. By the time of the Normandy invasion and with other types of military support, the Churchill performed adequately enough.

It was grand to see such a tank upon entering the Marlborough collection, but the Churchill vehicle will obviously need to be renovated before going on display. I like the tank because of it's vulnerabilities during the induction phase. These things I find interesting. However, I would not like to have been one of the poor blighters inside, when confronting one of the more superior German tanks of the day.

Some of them were sent to the Soviet Union, and Australia took some for the war in the Pacific with Japan. However, the war ended before Australia could put them to use. How the Churchill fared in Russia is another matter. They would obviously become outdated by the big Soviet tanks of that conflict and replaced.

Churchill tanks were also used during the Korean war and more were sold to the Irish Army. What mark of design the above Churchill tank is; I cannot say, but I presume it is one of the latter developments.


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